Brits just won’t stop working, as annual leave goes to waste

Research shows that in 2016 UK workers grafted an extra £17 billion of free work, as they didn’t take the annual leave that they’re entitled to.

Thanks to us Brits being workaholics, it’s been revealed that in 2016, UK workers grafted an extra £17 billion of free work as we didn’t take the holiday we’re entitled too.

A new study, commissioned by the sun-loving holiday specialists Airtours, finds Brits aren’t using their well-earned holiday to do the things they love; in fact, we’re wasting them! The average UK worker didn’t take a whopping five days of their annual holiday allowance the last year; it’s no wonder we all need a dose of sunshine!

The data finds that 40 per cent of workers were guilty of not using up their full holiday allowances, and one in six of us admitted to having more than a full working week of holiday leftover.

So why aren’t we taking the holiday we’re entitled too? Well, 25 per cent of people asked said they didn’t need to take it or even want to, 36 per cent had too much on at work to take time off, and 26 per cent weren’t allowed to take holiday as it meant being off at the same time as colleagues.

When we did take a break last year, our research suggests that most of the time we weren’t using our holiday how we should have been, like chilling out and recharging our batteries, in fact, we spent less than half of our time off relaxing.

On average we spent seven holiday days at home doing, well not much at all it seems, and 56 per cent of us admitted to doing boring chores instead of getting out and enjoying ourselves (where’s the fun in that?).

A further 32 per cent of Brits used their holiday to go to medical appointments and 17 per cent used it to deal with those unexpected family emergencies, like illness or injury or taking the dog to the vet.

Stewart Davies, commercial manager at Airtours, adds, ‘We can’t believe that so many hard working Brits are missing out on their annual leave; it’s one of the best bits of the year! With work pressures and hectic daily routines, we all know how much they deserve a break from it all. So with 2017 in full swing now, and a whole new year of holiday days to take, we’re getting behind our fellow Brits and encouraging them to take some well-earned time off. And, if they choose to enjoy some time chilling out on a beach in the sun, well, who could blame them?’

Top ten things Brits spend annual leave on (that aren’t holiday)

1. Chores and errands
2. Going to medical appointments
3. Using up annual leave allowance
4. Family emergencies
5. Relaxing at home
6. DIY/ Home improvements
7. Gardening
8. Shopping
9. Studying
10. Socialising

Further reading on annual leave

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Annual leave